October 20, 2011 Subject:
Stockbrokers are being killed; their murders unsolved. Not that stockbrokers were very popular in 1933, but the cops have to do something. A break in the case comes when a witness positively IDs the killer in the latest incident. Unfortunately the man he names, who spoke to the witness, is a deaf mute and a prominent stockbroker himself.
The big problem with the screenplay is that neither the police or the hotshot reporter make the logical leap that if it isn't him it must be someone who looks remarkably like him, nor do they thoroughly investigate the suspect, which would likely have lead them to the killer. Still, I enjoyed the banter between the reporter, his love interest, and the police. There are lots of then-timely references. The ending is fairly standard, a bit disappointing, though with some tension. Acting is above average; it's a good cast.
I downloaded the 746 MB AVI file. Video quality was fine, except for missing chunks of frames here and there that make the movie jarring sometimes. The audio was generally good, though I had trouble understanding some dialog. Some of that was due, I think, to fast talking and mumbled lines.
October 19, 2011 Subject:
Mum's the word
The faults of this mystery thriller are poor direction, uneven pacing, choppy film editing with abrupt scene transitions and a contrived conclusion. Two missing minutes don't help. In spite of all this it was entertaining enough to keep me hanging on until the improbable climax. With one major exception (Theodore Newton) an okay cast is headed by villain-in-chief Lionel Atwill. A minor role is filled by George "Gabby" Hayes.
The mostly glitch-free print has okay video. The audio could be better in a few scenes.
FOOTNOTE: This is the fifth or six film I've counted that uses the same brief stock footage of a large newspaper office.